"Beat The Heat", and Other Summer Copywriting Clichés

We were brainstorming subject lines for an email this week and as I tried my best to come up as many summer-related clichés as possible I wondered how many of these actually made their way out into finished emails.

So I decided to take a look through my inbox — here's a selection of some of summer's best (worst?) email subject line copywriting clichés.

  • Blazing Hot Deals / SIZZLING DEALS / Sensational Summer Savings — Circuit City
  • Crazy hot 1c saleAT&T
  • Cabela's turns up the heat with red-hot summer-clearance prices — Cabela's
  • Hot summer nights; cool summer savings! — Red Envelope
  • Sunset Sale — Watch these prices drop! (Zazzle)
  • Beat the heat with very cool prices / The heat lingers, these savings end tomorrow. — Land's End
  • Things are heating up… / Forecast: COOL with 40% OFF! / A Cooling Trend is Here! — Coldwater Creek
  • It's Heating Up! ALL Sandals Under $50 — Anne Klein
  • Christmas in July / Relax! Save Money! Beat the Heat! Summer Weekend Special. / Lockout or not… These Deals are Hot! — CompUSA
  • Sizzling Special Buys on homedepot.com — The Home Depot
  • things are heating up… — Kate Spade
  • Warm weather patterns ahead. — Anthropologie (quite good as it is for patterned tops)
  • Beat The Heat With Cool Savings - DeLonghi Portable Air Conditioner $50 OFF! — Costco
  • Weekend Forecast: Sunny Savings SitewideJCPenney

Fortunately, there were some diamonds in the rough (ack — this cliché thing is contagious):

  • Hot Days, Cold Coffee — Starbucks (promoting their iced lattes)
  • Sweet Summer Savings — Harry & David (they sell fruit gift baskets)
  • Instant savings. Just add water. — Land's End (advertising swimwear)

So, if you're thinking you're being clever by tying your email, banner, or other piece of online content into the summer and the fact that it is hot (well, maybe not in Seattle, but pretty much everywhere else) — you're not.

Really you're just being lazy unless you have an offer that genuinely relates to the weather and the time of year. If you're dead set on "beating the heat with these cool savings" then at least do an A/B test first.

Posted on: July 28, 2011 | No comments

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